2024 is set to be the year of ‘cafecore’, a trend bringing the aesthetic of your favourite cafe straight to your home and attracting over 600,000 views on TikTok. But why stop at the look alone when you could recreate your go-to coffee order right at home? All you need to do is upgrade your coffee-making essentials and you’ll be your own at-home barista in no time.
The cafe kitchen trend is already everywhere we look and taking over as the biggest kitchen trend of the year. Pinterest reported a 1,125% increase in searches for ‘coffee bar styling’ in the last year, predicting this number will only continue rising.
And eBay’s statistics show that it’s not just pure aesthetics that people crave – it’s also good-quality coffee as searches for ‘coffee machines’ rose by 400% in the last month. So if you too want to achieve the best cup of coffee you’ve ever made, these are the expert-approved must-haves to invest in for your kitchen coffee station.
4 cafe-level coffee-making essentials
This year’s biggest trend is every coffee lover’s dream as never before has it been as easy to make the perfect cup of coffee at home as it is now.
‘In 2024, we’ll say goodbye to living room bar carts and hello to kitchen coffee stations as the cafecore trend takes over,’ says Rachel Miles, head of home and garden at eBay UK. ‘Creating a coffee corner is also a great way to show off your personal style.’
And this is exactly what you need to equip yourself with to master the art of coffee making like a pro.
1. Bean-to-cup coffee machine
The first tool is perhaps the most obvious but sadly also the most pricey – it’s the best bean-to-cup coffee machine.
‘If you’re looking to match the cafe-level coffee and become the in-house barista, first you’ll need a cafe-worthy appliance – a bean to cup coffee machine,’ says Thea Whyte, coffee machine expert at AO.com. ‘Using this appliance is a simple process of popping water and coffee beans into a machine then enjoying a barista-quality brew.’
Ashley Palmer-Watts, Artisan Coffee Co. co-founder and former Michelin-starred chef, continues, ‘You will need a barista coffee machine. Generally you get what you pay for, so spend what you can within your budget. Whether that’s a machine with an integrated grinder, such as Sage the Barista, or go for a combination machine with a separate grinder.’
We've already crowned this as our favourite coffee machine overall in our all-encompassing guide, but it would be remiss not to call it the best bean-to-cup coffee machine on the market too.
If you don’t want to spend a fortune, or take up too much worktop space, you should buy this Beko machine. With a narrow footprint (at 24cm wide) and a 19-bar pressure pump to make deep, full-bodied coffee, it's a perfect machine to opt for if your budget is smaller.
If you're new to grinding beans for the perfect cup of coffee, then the Breville Barista Signature Espresso machine will appeal, with features to make getting used to the process that bit easier.
Ashley’s first taste of kitchen life came when he started washing pots at the village’s Le Petit Canard restaurant. This inspired his passion for cooking, where he then spent the next few years as a chef at the restaurant. He went on to land a job at Heston Blumenthal’s prestigious restaurant ‘The Fat Duck’, becoming head chef in 2003, at the age of just 25 years old. In 2011, he became Chef Director at Dinner by Heston, and in just 2 years, they had received two Michelin stars.
After over twenty years leading Michelin-starred teams, Ashley now brings a chef’s view to the world of speciality coffee. Ashley helped direct the team to conceptualise coffee in a revolutionary way, championing the use of blends and harmonising flavour notes to create the ultimate cup of coffee.
2. Coffee grinder
On the topic of best coffee grinders, this is another piece of equipment that comes highly recommended from the pros to add to your coffee bar idea. Unless, of course, you opt for a coffee machine with an integrated grinding function like the aforementioned Sage the Barista.
‘Grinders are often overlooked in the making of a great coffee, but grinders are so important for the grind of the coffee and allow the best extraction, they are really worth the investment,’ Ashley explains.
Recommended by Ashley, this electric coffee grinder is stylish and compact, as well as silent when doing its grinding.
Melitta is well-known for making top quality coffee grinders, and if you’re after an affordable burr grinder, this model is the perfect choice. It has a simple yet stylish design that is compact to fit any space.
Coffee connoisseurs who know their bean will appreciate this Smart coffee grinder by Sage. Designed with high-tech features, it comes with a ‘dosing IQ’ of 60 (yes 60!) programmable grinding settings to get the most out of your bean.
3. Specialty beans
Investing in high-quality, specialty coffee beans is another must. You can even buy special blends from your favourite cafe as that is something they tend to offer.
‘With the rise of ‘cafecore’, at-home brewing has seen a dramatic increase over the past three years,’ says Hashim Parvez, Blank Street product specialist. ‘When recreating your favourite coffee order on lazy weekends or work from home days, getting the beans right is really important – opting for high-quality specialty beans will help bring to life the flavours of your favourite coffee shop order.’
4. Milk preparation
The last step is the milk. As you might know, most professional coffee machines in cafes feature an integrated coffee steamer which is crucial for that smooth, creamy and frothy finish of your coffee. And most bean-to-cup coffee machines on the market also have this feature. But if you happen to have one without it, there are still ways to get your milk to that desired place.
‘For those who own a machine without an integrated milk frother, they can enhance their coffee experience by pairing it with a standalone one,’ a Nespresso spokesperson says. ‘The Aeroccino 4 offers two distinct types of hot milk foam and options for cold foam and hot milk, allowing you to craft velvety milk recipes with ease.’
Ashley also highlights the importance of a well-done milk. But you don’t necessarily need a milk frother to achieve the result, he says. ‘My biggest tip would be don’t overheat your milk. But a thermometer that clips on to your jug will really help get the best result.’ Alternatively, you can invest in a milk jug with an integrated temperature control function like the Sage BES003UK Milk Jug at Currys.
And while we’re on the topic of milk, if you’re a plant milk lover, then the currently trending plant milk maker from Salter available at Amazon might also be a great way to start making your own milk from raw ingredients like oats and nuts.
Now you will never have to leave the house again to get your favourite cup of coffee.
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Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home and interiors. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors. She feels the two are intrinsically connected - if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.
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